One of the best things about using wood stain is that you can change the appearance of a lighter coloured wood, simply by applying stain. Unlike when you use paint, stain allows you to still see the natural wood grain. Not all wood, however, will take stain equally.
Generally speaking, the more porous a wood is, the better it will take stain. Oak, for example, has very large pores so it will stain quite easily. Cedar is also well known for its ability to take stain. Other woods that are commonly used with stain include ash and chestnut. Wood with smaller pores such as maple and birch do not stain as well.
Once you’ve chosen a type of wood that works well with stain, there are some tips that you should keep mind whether you are staining a cedar deck or your kitchen cabinets.
1. Choose a stain
Choose your stain colour based on what it will look like once it has dried and been finished. Remember that the colour will appear a little darker after a finish or sealant has been applied. In the case of furniture, you will want to match it to other wood furniture you have in the room.
2. Clean and sand
Before you apply your stain, you’ll want to clean and lightly sand the wood surface. This will help the wood to absorb the stain. Be sure to sand in the same direction as the grain, so you don’t scratch the wood. Once you are done sanding, wipe the wood clean with a damp cloth. It is recommended you wait a day after sanding and cleaning to ensure the wood is completely dry.
3. Use gloves and protective clothing
Before you start staining your wood, put on some gloves and clothes you don’t mind getting stain on. Skin, hair, and clothing will all stain very easily so be careful.
4. Use foam brushes
Stain is nearly impossible to get out of a bristled paint brush, so use a foam brush instead. Wipe up excess stain with a paper towel instead of a cloth to reduce your amount of clean-up.
5. Stain with the grain
When staining wood, be sure to apply it going along the grain of the wood. This will not only help the colour to better soak into the wood, but any streaks will end up looking as if they are part of the wood grain.
6. Apply at least two coats
Wood stain requires two or more coats if the colour is to look even. Make sure that you allow each coat to dry completely before applying the next.
7. Use a sealant
If the stain you are using does not have a sealant included, then it is important to apply a sealant in order to get a nice glossy look. If the wood that you are staining will be kept outside, then adding additional sealant will help to protect it from the elements.
At Trends Wood Finishing in Oakville, Ontario, we are experts in staining wood for cabinetry and matching it to your exact specifications. For more information, call us today.